Stolen Synagogue Textile Returns to Prague From U.S.

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Visual arts curator of Jewish Museum in Prague Michaela Sidenberg points to details on a synagogue textile in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, March 26, 2014.Credit: AP

A 19th-century synagogue textile stolen by the Nazis has returned to the Czech Republic after it was discovered in the United States.

The textile dates to 1855 and is believed to have belonged to a Jewish community in Mlada Vozice, south of Prague. It was confiscated by the Nazis after Czechoslovakia's 1943 occupation by Hitler's troops.

It was discovered in 2013 in the U.S. shortly before Sotheby's was to put it up for auction. Officials at Prague's Jewish Museum, where the textile was kept after the war, say it disappeared under unclear but likely illegal circumstances in 1956.

Petr Papousek, head of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Czech Republic, said Wednesday the textile is priceless for Czech Jews.

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